Chicago police union president weighs in on perception of officers nationwide

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - With the perception of police swaying towards the negative, the president of the union representing Chicago police is speaking out.

Dean Angelo told FOX 32 that people need to look beyond what he says are isolated incidents of police misconduct caught on video.

Angelo's been a cop since 1980, but he is the first police union president in Chicago with a doctoral degree.

And he's thought a lot about the changes he's seen in relations between police and public.

“There is a climate out there from coast to coast that doesn't respect what the police officers do, that does not respect them putting their lives out there on the front,” Angelo said.

Angelo, who’s the Fraternal Order of Police President, blames what he considers an overreaction to recent videos.

Among them, the apparently improper arrest of Naperville's Sandra Bland and a series of unjustified police shootings, including one in Cincinnati where the officer's now charged with murder.

“They think we paratroop from some foreign place and show up (for) work. You know, we're moms. We're dads. We're coaches. We have deacons and ministers in our membership,” Angelo said.

“We're just like everyone else. This is our job. Our job is to enforce the law. There are so many incidents out there where I think individuals that were offenders are looked upon as being a victim of a police officer,” he added.

A new state law clears the way for a big increase in the number of police officers wearing body cameras. Angelo helped write the new law's provisions, even though some officers strongly oppose body cams.

“I know that they're probably watching this and saying, "Oh, my gosh! How can you be saying this?" They're coming anyway. And, looking at what's going on across the country, even before Ferguson, we had a realization that this was in the process,” Angelo said.

Also, there has yet to be even one complaint against an officer wearing a body camera.